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Doudou running away from home...
  • we actually moved our house recently. Doudou was used to be afraid to go out for walk. However, in the new house, she seems have no fear at all and has escaped 4 times during the day and today at night. She was just running away and not listening to whatever we said. Since we are worried that she will be lost in the dark (no confidence yet), we have to chase her back several times...

    it has been 3 months already. and she still don't recognize us as family as owner it seems... we are giving all our loves to her, and this is really frustrating... does anyone of you have an idea of how to overcome this situation?

    [mod edit: changed category]
    Post edited by sunyata at 2017-09-07 11:42:41
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3482
    Not to be mean but. You did researched Shibas before getting one right? Shibas are KNOWN to be escape artists and terrible offleash.

    Bonded or not, many will escape if given the opportunity for numerous reasons, some of which are: they are bored, have lots of energy, wants to explore, hungry, etc.

    3 months is a VERY short amount of time to build a bond. And seeing that your shiba is not even a year old, it is still a teenager.

    I highly recommend you reinforce your home so your shiba cannot escape to prevent something tragic from happening in the future
  • 1. You are awesome for rescuing.

    2. You are AWESOME FOR RESCUING!!

    3. I have no conventional wisdom to give, only personal experience with our own (non-rescue) shiba. Others on this forum may disagree vehemently. But for what it's worth... Julius seems to be very closely bonded to us, I think in part because (1) we have slept with him from day one (actually probably day three). He often chooses not to sleep on the bed with us anymore because it is hard for him to get up and down (arthritis) and the kids often co-sleep and they sometimes inadvertently roll over on him. But he is always welcome and he knows it. (2) He eats with us. He has his own food of course, but we don't shy away from people food treats when we are at the table. He isn't obnoxious about asking, but he is around and appreciative of donations (cartilage from steak, chicken, etc...) (3) We've always tried to respect his opinion. When he wants to go a certain way on walks, we try to let him choose his path whenever we can (i.e. if I'm not late for work or responsible for taking the kids to school that day). We try to be responsive to his moods (he has them, just like us), and I respect his stubborn streak. Our whole family is stubborn.

    I guess my walkaway message is that Julius doesn't like being a second class citizen in our family (he can feel insecure about his standing, especially now that he has siblings to contend with), so we try to show him that he's important and respected. I am his mother and I will let him know when he's out of line, not in a domineering sort of way -- but I do discipline. I put my hands over his nose if he's barking at the doorbell. I'll verbally let him know he's not allowed to play too roughly with the two-year old. He can tell from my tone of voice whether I'm truly upset by something and when I am, he always stops.

    These things do take time. Think of it like you would any human relationship. It takes time to develop and win trust. You can't expect him to trust you 100% right away and you can't trust him completely right away. Show him you're reliable and I'm guessing he will respond in kind.
    Post edited by HeartofDog at 2017-09-07 04:14:06
  • P.S. She's understandably very curious about your new neighborhood. Can you give her free reign to explore under your supervision? Take her around, let her choose the direction for the most part on maybe one walk a day.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8414
    @HeartofDog - First off, I am pretty sure this is not a rescued dog, but one that was purchased from a broker/mill.

    Second, PLEASE do not suggest that someone put their hands on their dog in a negative way as punishment (i.e. clasping your hands over his muzzle to keep him from barking). That is a sure fire way to break what little bond the OP has with this dog.

    To the OP - It definitely sounds like you did not research the breed before purchasing your puppy. Nor did you purchase your puppy from a reputable breeder that selects for the best traits and breeds to improve the Shiba breed. So you are at a major disadvantage. There are tons of threads about fearful Shibas. I would start by reading those and trying out some of the suggestions there. In addition, please reinforce your home and yard to ensure that your pup does not keep escaping.
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  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Shiba inu as a breed are aloof and independent. a lot of people think their shiba don't like them due to that. It'll take time just keep working on socialization, playing and training.

    It'll take time and even if you had great bond he'd still not be good for off leash. Not many are good even if they're bonded or from good breeder.

    I'd reinforce the fence to make it escaped proof so dog can't dig or climb out. if your shiba door bolts it'll be good to work on that so dog doesn't run out. I know some who use baby gates to help prevent it till the dog is better about it.

    Most shiba if they escape won't come back so easily due to the exciting smells of animals and things to chase.
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  • If your pup is running out when you have open doors, a suggestion is to work on some door training where the pup has to sit before the door is open and can't be released from the sit until given the cue.

    I've been doing this with my girl with a few different scenarios like when we head out of the door into the garage, from garage to outside, from yard door to outside, when exiting the car, and to when she is just heading out to the fenced backyard unleashed. Still working on when we have guests coming over from the main door, she's too excited to sit so hold onto her or put her behind baby gates.

    It's not a guarantee she won't bolt if she sees a dog/squirrel/something shiny but I found it helps to build some discipline. There was one time the yard door was left open to a busy street and my girl was let out to play in the yard. So relieved she didn't take the opportunity to venture out even though she was hovering around the open door...but again, no guarantee that she won't take the opportunity if it were to happen again, so I try to stay vigilant.

    If Doudou is escaping from the yard, I agree with the suggestions above. Check the fences for any gaps and check the gates to make sure your pup can't squeeze out of your property.
  • ZenkiZenki
    Posts: 347
    i would like to think that shibas really don't run away from their hooman buddies but rather they run towards something/someone they are really interested in like a dried leaf being blown away by the wind or a yummy yummy bunny. it only seems like they are running away because they suck at recall. At least i hope that's what it is and not a poor reflection of my bond with my dog. Also, any and every article i've read about shibas' personality and traits mention the challenge with recall, independence, high prey drive, and training. ;))

    it's about controlling your dog's environment... i wasn't confident that Zenki wouldn't be able to squeeze thru my balcony's railing so i ziptied my unused ex-pen to the railing. it doesn't look pretty but my mind is at ease. I also use baby gates to control access to certain areas in my hous. worked pretty well until he can literally jump over the baby gate now. i agree with training your dog to have 'manners' going in and out of your house. you will not be the only one who would ever go thru your doors. You may be mindful of a dog that may bolt thru the door once you open it so you might be prepared every single time. but what about the other times when other people opens your door? you can't train all your visitors but you can train your dog. :D this is me speaking from experience. i have had zenki bolt thru my door once when a house guest opened the door for me to let other people in. i was cooking when this happened. thankfully, Zenki stayed close to the new comers to greet them.
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  • @Montblonc: "If your pup is running out when you have open doors, a suggestion is to work on some door training where the pup has to sit before the door is open and can't be released from the sit until given the cue."

    That's great, Montblonc. We do this, too. Also when we cross the street. I should mention that for us, it really helps to reinforce the sit and stay with a treat (a piece of his usual kibble). Julius automatically sits whenever we get to a road, even when we are off leash in Central Park, to get his treat.

    @Sunyata: "PLEASE do not suggest that someone put their hands on their dog in a negative way as punishment"

    I don't want to hijack this thread, but I'd like clarity: Is your position that one should never do this w/ a dog or a shiba? That seems so... absolute. I compare it to holding my five year old human still, against my body, when he's having a tantrum. When Julius barks, I often put my arms around him and cover his nose w/ my hand. I don't think he feels shamed or even really punished, but lovingly corrected. The message I am trying to convey and that I think he gets is: "Barking is not appropriate right now, my love. Please stop."

    On occasion, Julius has growled at our two year old when she came too near Julius as he was eating a marrow bone (his favorite treat). I put my fingers (lightly) on his nose and said, "No, Julius," firmly, but calmly. He didn't do it again. It seems like a pretty low key, clear way to convey the message. He doesn't slink off or behave as though he thinks he's been humiliated, after. I guess I am just puzzled at your strong reaction, since for us, the method seems effective and loving.

    Thanks for your opinion.
    Post edited by HeartofDog at 2017-09-09 16:55:25
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 664
    @HeartofDog This well-written article can clarify why you really shouldn't grab at a dog's muzzle:

    https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Understanding-Muzzle-Grabs-in-Dogs
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 664
    To add on to it (I was a little busy)---muzzle grabs are inefficient means of communicating to your dog what you want to happen. Before a canine grabs at another canine, there has already been a series of clear signals warning what the grab is for (play/discipline/etc). Humans don't do that ("no" doesn't count" so these grabs come out of nowhere for no reason the dog can understand. Regardless of how fast your are, there is a high chance that you are missing that crucial split second window that is required for the dog to really comprehend WHAT the grab is for. Some dogs may be able to figure it out after a while, but for the most part, it is just a scary movement a human does that is unpleasant and threatening. Muzzle grabs should never be done to any dog.

    We aren't dogs, and we really lack the finesse of communication that dogs use. If you want to communicate to your dog that biting is inappropriate, ending play and making an ouch or yelpy sound is the best way. THIS they can understand easily, especially if the timing is well done (but even if it is a little off, they get the picture). Establishing a no-marker is good, too, contrasting the reward marker you have probably already established. Human hands should never be used to punish your dog as they can't understand it. 90% of the time, their paws are used in play and in fighting. Using our paws to discipline is basically threatening them.

    As far as you grabbing your child when they are in a tantrum---that is completely different for dogs. Dogs don't grab and restrain each other (they can't, really, just physically speaking). Holding and grabbing are purely primate habits due to our structure. Thinking a dog can understand your intent is adding a dangerous level of anthropomorphization. Technically, hugging a dog is not good unless the dog really trusts you because dogs don't hug. The only time you see a canine"Hugging" is when they are fighting or playing, and since there is generally no play-bow before a human hugs them (they usually just run up) it is often construed as an attack.

    Dogs are not humans. They don't move like us and their communication style is very different because of their structure. To clearly communicate, you need to have a very deep understanding of how this works. Otherwise, you risk damaging your relationship with your dog.
    Post edited by Anjyil at 2017-09-09 23:30:26
  • That's a well written post, Anjyil. I appreciate your response. How would you communicate to your pup that he/she should not bark at the door or growl at a human sibling?

    I take your point about anthropormophizing to excess. At the same time... we observe in our pups (all the ones we've raised together over the course of many years) that they do seem to understand our intent when it comes to hugs and other actions. It is not "natural" for dogs to speak to each other using human words -- and yet our pups come to understand many things we say to them over time. Perhaps each human / dog pair needs to develop its own verbal and physical vocabulary over time.

    I wonder also if the article about "muzzle grabs" discusses something else than what we dog: We place our hands gently on the snout and hold gently. Or we tap the snout with our fingers / hands. Or we place our fingers on top of the snout and do not hold at all. There are nuances to this depending on how transgressive the behavior is to our view. We do not roughly grab and hold the muzzle or cause Julius to whimper.

    I think it is a fair point to say that early in a relationship, the focus should be on developing trust and in some contexts that kind of touching will not help.

    I just want to put our experiences with our shiba (and those of our friends) out there to try and buck some of the extremely negative stereotypes of shibas that are being bandied about. We don't find them to be ill tempered or indifferent or untrainable or incapable of being off leash or untrustworthy. We don't find them to be unreasonable in any way -- just aware of their place as living beings with an opinion, who need to be treated with respect. I have no doubt that there are variations in personality, but I don't want rainbowincloud to walk away from posting here thinking she / he has some terrible, untrainable, awful pup -- just because it may not have a name brand lineage and just because doudou has escaped a few times. It is not a hopeless case.

    Anyway... I don't want to write a treatise. I thank you for your opinion, I've read the article you linked to. I'll try to educate myself more by reading more broadly.
    Post edited by HeartofDog at 2017-09-10 00:52:41
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 664
    Well, at least in answer to how to teach not to bark--I am working on teaching my dog the quiet cue. Growling should never be punished---that is their warning that something is wrong/uncomfortable or they are scared. You should take heed of the situation and see what is causing the dog to growl and work on that issue first and foremost. Most likely, it can be something desensitization can fix.

    As I said in my post, it isn't definitive or 100%. Each dog is different and some figure it out after a while. However, from what I have read, this is not the norm. But yes, it is something that takes time to figure out. Grabbing the snout or tapping the nose in any way has literally zero effect on my dog. I was desperate enough to try it a few times. He just keeps doing what he is doing. I do admit to administering my own methods that some would not agree with, but I would never recommend them because it generally doesn't work on most dogs.

    You are right---first and foremost, trust and bond are most important to build. My pup lets me hug him and put my arm around him, but not most other people (he just shies or pulls away).

    Some dogs do better off-leash or with training than others. The fact that most people say that Shiba Inu are not trustowrthy off leash is because the majority aren't. It is in their genes. They were bred to hunt small animals and flush them out of the brush and such, being "wild" and full of energy. Yes, they can have a good recall, but it takes a bit more work. As a prime example, there was a woman who spent three or so years training her Shiba to pass the police exam. He is the first and only shiba to ever pass and be a police dog. That says a lot right there. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you do need to face reality about certain breed traits first and then take into account the individual dog's personality and lineage.

    I agree also that Doudou is not a helpless case, but I totally understand the OP's frustrations and fears. Every pup (meaning any breed) brings their challenges and it takes a strong heart and patience to overcome it, as well as trying various techniques and seeking help when necessary. First things first: management. This is the most important step. After that, retraining/training and establishing firm rules. I would only do an extreme technique like a muzzle grab if my vet/behaviorist/trainer recommended it. He has been in the business for years and specializes in Shiba specifically. His recommendation? Don't do it. Shiba are not a good breed to do such techniques with for many many reasons, according to him.

    And I think I've exhausted my brain enough. Hopefully this information between the two of us can point the OP in the right direction. I have personally become a strong advocate for seeking professional help, honestly, after my recent experiences.

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